The A-League is back after the international break with the Perth Glory sitting on top of the table after 4 rounds. One of the big stories this season has been the poor starts from both Newcastle and the Central Coast.
The Jets are struggling to build on their breakthrough runner up finish last season under Ernie Merrick, whilst the Mariners recruited well (Tommy Oar and Ross McCormack) but have struggled to generate any meaningful attack.
Keep an eye on Adam Le Fondre when the Sky Blues take on the Victory. The English striker has scored 4 goals already this season and sits at the top of the goalscorers list alongside a rejuvenated Andy Keogh who has a new lease on life under Tony Popovic.
The Wolf takes a look at all the action from round 5 of the A-League.
|MATCH/TIME (AEST)||A-LEAGUE BEST BETS|
|WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS v NEWCASTLE JETSSPOTLESS STADIUM FRI 23 NOV 0750PM||Western Sydney Wanderers ($2.08)|
|WELLINGTON PHOENIX v ADELAIDE UNITEDWELLINGTON REGIONAL STADIUM SAT 24 NOV 0535PM||Adelaide United ($1.94)|
|BRISBANE ROAR v MELBOURNE CITYSUNCORP STADIUM SAT 24 NOV 0750PM||Brisbane Roar ($3.05)Brisbane-Draw ($1.64)|
|SYDNEY FC v MELBOURNE VICTORYJUBILEE OVAL SUN 25 NOV 0500PM||Sydney FC ($1.93)Both teams to score – Yes ($1.73)|
|PERTH GLORY v CENTRAL COAST MARINERSNIB STADIUM SUN 25 NOV 0700PM||Perth Glory -1.5 ($2.14)Goals above 2.5 ($1.61)|
BRISBANE ROAR (DDLD) ($3.05) v MELBOURNE CITY (LWDLW) ($2.18)
Brisbane ready to roar against Melbourne City
Brisbane should get opportunities to win this game at home, although it will be their creativity in attack that will ultimately determine if they come away with the win. That ability to create opportunities was absent for large parts of the match against the Glory but they showed improvement against the Wanderers. The Roar certainly have the players to cause problems with Henrique and Taggart both working really hard to find goals.
The Roar need to make Eugene Galekovic work with the City keeper unchallenged in their last game against the Wellington Phoenix. Poor passing is holding City back with Scott Jamieson, Bart Schenkeveld and Kearyn Baccus all guilty of being wasteful.
The key for the Roar will be to isolate Bruno Fornaroli up front (which seems to be becoming more common), Alex Lopez having a bit more of an influence and Bautheac getting the ball moving and creating some scoring chances for Taggart and Henrique. If they can make those small changes then Brisbane should find their first win of the season.
BEST BETS: Brisbane Roar ($3.05), Brisbane-Draw ($1.64)
PERTH GLORY (DWWW) ($1.39) v CENTRAL COAST MARINERS (LDDLL) ($6.60)
POPOVIC BRINGING THE GLORY BACK TO PERTH
The story of Round 4 of the A-League was Perth’s dominant performance against Adelaide United on Sunday afternoon. Once again Andy Keogh scored and Chris Ikonomidis chipped in with what is becoming a routine goal in the 90th minute to put the game away.
The Glory don’t rely on possession to win matches, they had just 38% against the Reds and 32% against the Victory. The Wolf thinks they will have to take control in this match at home, simply because the Mariners midfield have been so poor. Aiden O’Neill was overwhelmed against the Victory and could find himself in a similar position against the Glory who are silky smooth under Popa this season. Jacob Melling has a high workrate which the Wolf can’t fault, but it is his individual errors that let him down.
The Wolf expects the Glory to continue their strong winning form. They are hard to beat at home and there is nothing we have seen from the Mariners to suggest they are on the verge of making a breakthrough.